How to Cook a Greek Easter Meal at Home for Everyone (Even Vegans!)

Follow these recipes by private chef Pavlos Saftis to make both a classic lamb dish and a delicious vegan alternative right at home.


Chef: Pavlos Saftis

Preparation & Cooking time: Cooking Time (Approx): 120' (Lamb) & 30' (Cauliflower)

Serves: 6-8

The best place to enjoy Pascha (Greek Easter Sunday) is, of course, somewhere outside in the Greek countryside, with a lamb rotating on a spit and a table loaded with traditional dishes (and plenty of wine).

But what if you can’t get away but still want to celebrate Easter at home with friends and family? And what if you or your guests are vegans? Greek Easter is a traditionally carnivorous affair, with the end of Lent celebrated with the ravenous consumption of meat and eggs.

Fear not, as we have two recipes from private chef Pavlos Saftis that cover all bases.

First up the classic: a roast leg of lamb you can make right at home – no backyard bonfires or elaborate spit turning mechanisms required.

Ingredients

  • 2 kg leg of lamb
  • 1 bulb of white garlic
  • 1 bulb of black garlic
  • ½ a bunch of fresh rosemary about 7 sprigs
  • 1.5 kg potatoes
  • zest from 1 lemon and its juice
  • 2 teaspoons of good runny honey
  • 2 table spoons of mustard
  • ¼ cup olive oil

Roast Leg Of Lamb

Steps
1. Remove the lamb from the fridge 1 hour before you want to cook it, to let it come up to room temperature.

2. Preheat the oven to 200C and place in a roasting dish on the bottom for the potatoes to catch those delicious drippings (trust me this will get you incredible flavour – don’t be health conscious, Easter comes but once a year!)

3. Break the garlic bulb up into cloves, then peel 5 cloves from the white garlic. Pick and roughly chop half the rosemary leaves. Peel and halve the potatoes.

4. Make the marinade: crush the remaining white and black garlic. In a bowl add the chopped rosemary, the lemon zest the oil, then mix together.

5. Season the lamb with sea salt and black pepper, then drizzle with the marinade and rub all over the meat. Place on the hot bars of the oven above the tray.

6. Parboil the potatoes in a pan of boiling salted water for 10 minutes, then drain and allow to steam dry. Gently toss the potatoes in the colander to scuff up the edges, then tip back into the pan.

7. Add the remaining rosemary sprigs and whole garlic cloves to the potatoes, season with salt and pepper, then drizzle over a good lug of oil. Tip the potatoes into the hot tray and place back under the lamb to catch all the lovely juices.

8. Cook the lamb for 1 hour 15 minutes if you want it pink, or 1 hour 30 minutes if you like it more well done.

Vegan option: Easter Cauliflower steaks marinated in coconut milk and curry

1. Cut the cauliflower into steak size pieces but without removing the bottom stem (we don’t want the cauliflower to break up, the stem will keep it in place)

2. In a bowl mix madras curry with coconut milk and half of the garlic and set aside.

3. Place cauliflower in the bowl and let marinate for at least 3 hours.

4. Place the grill on medium high heat.

5. Season cauliflower with the salt and chili (if using) and cook for 15 min

6. While the cauliflower is cooking, mix the remainder of the garlic with the lime juice sesame oil, ginger and honey and mix until smooth in a small bowl

7. In a salad bowl mix the carrots, sultanas and scallions, pour in the sesame oil dressing and mix gently

8. When cauliflower is tender remove it from the heat. Dip it into the marinade for 2 min, strain and serve on plate with salad.

9. Enjoy and Kalo Pascha!

Ingredients

  • 1 head of cauliflower cut into ‘steaks’
  • 2 teaspoons of madras curry (mild)
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • sea salt
  • pepper or chili flakes if preferred
  • 3 cloves garlic minced very finely
  • zest from 1 lime
  • juice from 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon good runny honey
  • the green part of 1 scallion finely julienned (cut into strips )
  • 2 shredded carrots
  • 1 handful of golden sultanina raisins
  • 1 inch of ginger, grated

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